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Russian senator says Erdogan to face growing domestic resistance after referendum

April 17, 2017, 11:20 UTC+3 MOSCOW

"The voting’s results are unlikely to give Erdogan comfort since his supporters did not impressively surpass his opponents," the Russian senator said

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© AP Photo/Burhan Ozbilici

MOSCOW, April 17. /TASS/. The outcome of the recent constitutional referendum is ambiguous for Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan as the resistance of those supporting the country’s closer ties with the European Union as well as its parliamentary system is expected to grow, said Konstantin Kosachev, Chairman of the Russian Federation Council (upper house of parliament) Committee for Foreign Affairs.

"The voting’s results are unlikely to give Erdogan comfort since his supporters did not impressively surpass his opponents," Kosachev wrote on Facebook. "He is not absolutely free so he will have to take risks. He is rather good at that but the resistance will grow among heavyweights supporting close interaction with Europe and those standing for a parliamentary system balancing presidential power."

At the same time, the Russian senator expressed confidence that despite all the possible resistance, the Turkish president would act in a decisive and irreversible manner. "Apparently, Erdogan is not only seeking to strengthen his own power but he has also given up the idea of European integration," Kosachev added. He also expects the European Union to be critical of the Turkish referendum’s results. "In any case, Brussels’ first response is quite clear: there is no place in the EU for this new Turkey."

The Russian senator pointed out that the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) was sure to pay much attention to the situation in Turkey during its April session. "There are rumors that Turley will have to face a full-scale monitoring once again which is unlikely to please it," he wrote. According to Kosachev, in case tensions between Turkey and PACE rise, then the Council of Europe may lose one of its major contributors, adding to the organization’s difficulties against the background of the unsettled issue of the Russian delegation’s status. "In short, the coming weeks will bring many interesting events," he concluded.

According to the preliminary results of the Turkish referendum, as many as 51.3% of voters supported constitutional amendments replacing the country’s parliamentary system with an all-powerful presidency and eliminating the position of prime minister. The voter turnout was 86%.

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